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vol. 1, p. 129
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Occultism (continued from page 1-128) >

spirit to his soul and both entering into circulation become as One bearing heavenly fruit.

I have already said that animals have souls of their kind, so have the vegetables. The Mineral World also gives evidence of the work of the great Geometrician and Architect of the Universe. The mineral terms used are merely illustrative of purity and fixity of purpose. The highest Gold being the deific, while the Silver represents man’s mind purified, and as the distributor of the same Golden Wealth in its degree.

No matter how plainly one may write in Cabalism, it is not to be expected that any can grasp the full meaning in its entirely all at once; indeed, the oftener the Cabalistic writings are read the more meanings come out of them. All knowledge comes by perception and reflection, or meditation in combination with memory and desire, for its goodness, and utility whether of a physical or spiritual nature. Dead letter semblances of knowledge are shadows without substance or power. Knowledge of the Absolute becomes as much a part of yourself, as the printed leaves are part of a book, you have it and you hold it forever.

Eulcid’s Elements are a sample of absolute geometrical knowledge. Civilization couldn’t get on without it, and the world is obliged to accept and be ruled by it, in spite of itself; thus Absolute Knowledge is Absolute Power. Not all the frivolous, half-logical, self-constituted scientific minds of the world, could compile such a work in an age under similar conditions, without the aid of the Solar or Deific principle which skeptics would obliterate, and believers don’t understand

Euclid’s Elements, therefore, were the work of a true Cabalist; by this it may be understood how absolute is the character of all pertaining to the Hermetic Philosophy, when I intimate that all sciences, past, present and to come, can be made as absolutely perfect of their kind, through the solar principle in Man, as these same Euclid’s Elements; and furthermore, that all who are disposed to enter the lists of Cabalism (with an universal charity, an honest heart, an indomitable will, which nothing can break or frustrate in pursuit of the good and true, with an earnest loving desire for the highest happiness of all earth’s inhabitants, which would be a return of the Golden Age) can and will succeed in time, and thus arrive at the highest heavenly happiness it is possible for earthly man to enjoy, who is joined to a physical body.

The Evidence in Favor of Future Existence Examined

To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:

DEAR SIR. — Either I must have succeeded in rendering my idea quite obscure, in my late letter to the Boston Investigator, or both you and the editor of “Spiritualism” in the Boston Sunday Herald have wholly misinterpreted my position as there defined. I am, however, ready to take all the responsibility for that failure, provided you or the Herald editor, or both, will allow me sufficient space to define my own position in the columns you each control. Assuming your willingness, I write, and at the risk of being proxy, I shall endeavor to render my meaning obvious to the most ordinary understanding.

I think you will admit that, as beings possessed of reason and intelligence and capable of reflection, it is our business to use our reason in the investigation of all claims pertaining to the interests of the race. Thus using it, we find that the desire for a continuation of life is an inherent element in the human being, if not in all the higher orders of animal existence. Whether this desire alone is sufficient to have originated the theory of a “future state of existence,” it is not necessary here to enquire. It is perhaps sufficient to know that the idea has been bequeathed by generation to generation from ages too remote to be traced by any method oi enquiry as yet inaugurated. From infancy we have been instructed that this universal desire for a future life is an earnest of our inheritance—an evidence that such life is in reserve for us. In our childhood's trust and unreasoning acceptance of authoritative teaching this assurance may have been satisfactory; and even now, if we can prove the testimony unbiassed by desire, unclouded by false reasoning, and based upon premises self-evidently or provably correct, we shall find the enlightened reason of the world prepared to accept it with rapturous delight.

We take up the enquiry then, with deep and earnest yearnings that our investigations may result in the discovery of sufficient evidence to establish the claim—evidence that the matured human intellect, uninfluenced by any consideration save that of ascertaining the truth, can accept as unequivocally demonstrative. What is the result? Turning our attention to the discussions on this question, both in the past and present, we find that, having accepted the premises, the very highest order of intellect and talent the world has ever produced has been taxed to the utmost of its capabilities, and taxed for ages, to eliminate from the argument in favor of so desirable a consummation of human existence every fallacious method of reasoning. But we also find that the premises upon which the argument is based are assumed, and the question recurs to day, as it has done again and again in the past, Is it a demonstrable fact that there exists in the material human organism a corresponding individualized, spiritual being or entity, independent of or destined to become independent of that material organism? It is evident that until this question is answered all speculation in regard to the capabilities of such being, when freed from its animal environments, are both out of order and altogether valueless, as applicable to our investigation.

We turn, then, to a consideration of the evidence in favor of the lofty conception. That the conception is ancient, and honored by almost universal hum n acceptance, is already conceded. We will not hesitate to give to this consideration all the weight to which it is justly entitled; but it must not be permitted to settle the question for us, for no matter now ancient or how authoritative the claim in its origin every succeeding age must still depend upon human testimony in regard to its genuineness, or must solve the problem for itself. We are thus at last brought face to face with the original enquiry. And here, at the very threshold of our investigation, we are met by the Spiritualist with the confident assertion, “The fact is demonstrated. The question in regard to a continued, conscious, individualized existence, after the dissolution of the material organism, is answered to-day, and answered in the affirmative by phenomena occurring m our very midst.”

“What then,” we ask, “are these phenomena, that they can thus solve the great problem of ages?” We are answered:

“The spirits themselves, beings once inhabiting material bodies like these we now inhabit, bodies long since mouldered buck to the dust from whence they were derived, are demonstrating to the world the fact that they still live, and thus that the long dream of a future life is but the faint foreshadowing of a glorious reality."

Encouraged by this testimony, again and again we appeal to the phenomena, but again and again we find that accounts of the phenomena “have been grossly exaggerated, If not wholly falsified.” We are reminded, however, that a thousand failures prove nothing as against a single fact. We grant the claim, and renew our endeavors, only to be disappointed as before, unless we can shut our eyes to the fact that the conditions under which the alleged phenomena occur do not preclude the possibility of human interference or fraud. We ask the privilege of so arranging conditions that we shall be satisfied with the results; and they who but a moment before were passively dependent upon the will of “the invisibles” for every minutia of detail in regard to conditions, grow suddenly heated and confident, declaring what “the spirits” can, and what they cannot do, as if they were the divinely appointed guardians of “the invisibles,” and of course we are forbidden any further opportunities for investigation. What then, have we to hope in the matter of being able to test the truth of these claims for ourselves? Nothing whatever. And again, in our earnestness to discover the nature of the basis of these claims, we turn to the recognized expounders of the Spiritual Philosophy. Granting the occurrence of the phenomena, we beg them to show us the fallacy of the reasoning by which we are compelled to reject them as evidence of spirit-power and presence. You, Mr. Editor, answer, “The ever-recurring facts have been witnessed by thousands of intelligent investigators, and attested by several distinguished scientists, and a verdict has been given in their favor by the London Dialectical Society, by committees specially appointed to examine the same, and that they are produced by spirit-power is the only conclusion that can reasonably be come to.” All this may be very satisfactory to one who believes that such beings exist, but what is there in such an argument to convince one who does not believe this that they are thus produced? The very existence of the spirit is that for which we are seeking proof. Where shall we find it? You must pardon me, but I cannot accept your conclusion. When the materialized form shall take its place on the platform of Paine Hall, as promised by Dr. Gardner, or on the platform of Music Hall, as promised years ago by Mrs. Conant, and shall speak to us with those improvised lips declaring the spiritual nature of its motor-power, will Mr. Seaver, the “veteran materialist,” will you, Mr. Editor, or will I, be able then to see a spirit? Will not that which shall then address itself to our senses be matter still f Can you “show me a spirit” then any more than you can show me a spirit now? Will not that temporary material form as effectually hide the spirit, granting one is there, as the physical organism hides your spirit from me and mine from you?

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Editor's notes

  1. The Evidence in Favor of Future Existence Examined by Denton, Elizabeth D. N., Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 4, March 30, 1876, p. 44